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Why African States Aren’t Jumping at Rolling Out Vaccinations

A drive to get Africans vaccinated against the coronavirus is being hamstrung by governments’ reluctance to sign indemnity clauses, a preference for Pfizer vaccines over other more readily available shots and a lack of preparedness to distribute the inoculations. Fewer than 20-million people have been inoculated in Africa, with almost half of those living in Morocco, according to Bloomberg’s Covid-19 Vaccine Tracker. So far, seven African countries have yet to start vaccinating their populations, said Phionah Atuhebwe, the new vaccines introduction medical officer for Africa for the World Health Organisation. Eritrea, Burundi and Tanzania have declined to join Covax, the global initiative that most African countries are relying on to secure the shots, while Burkina Faso hasn’t signed the indemnity and liability agreements needed to allow shipments of the vaccines to the country.